USTA Rules, Help

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Sushi_1001, May 15, 2010.

  1. Sushi_1001

    Sushi_1001 New User

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    I have a USTA rule question regarding movement while the opponent is serving.

    During a USTA double match, the person at the net is moving or getting ready to move with body movement while the opponent is serving ?

    The movement is NOT intended to distract the opponent in any way.
     
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  2. 86golf

    86golf Semi-Pro

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    Was there a question? If there was you answered it already.
     
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  3. Sushi_1001

    Sushi_1001 New User

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    Thanks for the reply.

    The question was is it against USTA rules that the person at the net is moving while the opponent is serving ?

    Please post a link of USTA rule if anyone can.
     
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  4. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    As long as it is for the purpose of playing fair tennis it is allowed. If it is for the purpose of distracting you then no it is not.

    Page 57 of the Code

    34. Body movement. A player may feint with the body while the ball is in
    play. A player may change position at any time, including while the server is
    tossing the ball. Any other movement or any sound that is made solely to distract an opponent, including, but not limited to, waving the arms or racket or stamping the feet, is not allowed.
     
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  5. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    BTW - It's hard to see how the net person's movement should be distracting while serving. If you are serving, you should be looking up at the ball, not into the court.

    My 2 cents....
     
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  6. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    There was an interpretation (I can't remember where I saw it) that since the receiver's partner knows that the ball is not going to them on a serve, there is no reason for them to move during the serve unless they are trying to distract the server - which would be a hindrance. Therefore, once they position themself for the serve, they have to stay there until it is hit.
     
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  7. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I've never seen this interpretation.

    As the receivers partner, I will sometimes move during the serve. I start off just behind the service line, and will sometime either move up closer to the net or drop back to 2-back formation. My intent is not to distract the server - the purpose is to not give away our returning formation prior to the serve, because sometimes we mix it up, and we like to keep our opponents guessing.

    I believe this is completely legit and have never had any issues with opponents complaining about it.
     
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  8. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    The interpretation was wrong. This is straight from the code:

    34. Body movement. A player may feint with the body while the ball is in
    play. A player may change position at any time, including while the server is
    tossing the ball. Any other movement or any sound that is made solely to distract an opponent, including, but not limited to, waving the arms or racket or stamping the feet, is not allowed.

    See, you can move at ANY TIME, even when the server is tossing the ball. Case closed.

     
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  9. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    And that doesn't make sense anyway. It's not uncommon for the server to give away the type and location of the serve based on the toss or delivery of the serve. Both the returner and the returners partner may have an idea of what's being delivered and adjust their position accordingly. If a serve is coming down the middle, for instance, the net man may take a step out so the returner has a more open court to hit into (and to avoid being pegged in the back of the head). If the serve is going out wide the net man may move to cover the middle of the court.
     
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  10. Austinthecity

    Austinthecity Rookie

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    I'm not saying I know for a fact whether it is right or wrong, but I have heard this interpretation as well.

    I think the receiver's partners were abusing this rule by standing right on the T during the toss to distract then move back to their spot during the serve. In this case it is movement of the body but it is done intentionally to hinder the server by making the service box seem smaller.
     
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  11. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    I guess the idea is that since the receiver's partner knows the ball isn't coming to them the only reason to move would be to distract the opponent, hence a hindrance under the rule you quoted. I agree with the other poster that said a player may simply be trying to avoid giving away their plan for returning the serve.

    Anyway, I found the interpretation on the USTA website:

    http://www.usta.com/USTA/Global/Improve_Your_Game/The_Final_Word/Feature/0403_Making_The_Right_Call.aspx
     
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  12. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    That interpretation is correct based on the fact that the partner was IN the service box and moved away before the serve was hit.

    Other type of motions that would be solely to distract the server would be waving their hands up in the air, running back and forth. But normal body feinting and movement is fine.
     
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  13. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    "normal movement". What is not included in "normal movement". My position is, I can stand anywhere I want (except perhaps in the box server is going to serve into), and then take two steps towards the net, away from the net, or towards the alley at any time, including during the toss. What say you Woodrow?

     
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  14. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    I say that's fine.
     
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, wow. I guess I've been wrong all this time.

    I thought that in doubles the receiver's partner should take a position and basically stay there. It comes up sometimes for me. If my partner is struggling to keep the return away from the net player or the net player is a really good poacher, I will begin the point in no-man's land. Trouble is, sometimes I forget. So as the server is tossing I realize my error and move back. I've always felt nervous doing this because I thought I was maybe it wasn't allowed.

    Now I won't sweat it and I'll change my position when my partner is receiving if I feel like it.
     
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  16. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    Well, if you ask me I think it's unwise to crowd the service box. When opponents do that to me I usually serve right down the middle. I figure I may get lucky and accidently hit the opponent, winning the point outright, or I may actually hit the corner of the box I'm aiming for (at the netmans feet) and the returner would have to hit around the netman to make his return.
     
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  17. HitItHarder

    HitItHarder Semi-Pro

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    I have run across a few opponents where the net person likes to stand right on the inside line of the service box. Geezer Guy is exactly right. I go serve from a singles position and serve right up the T. Usually solves the problem pretty quick. All the feet shuffling and head fakes usually are just the person trying to get in your head and make you overthink the serve.

    At our state level championships last year I was in a match where the net person would loudly shuffle their feet and rush from the back of the service box to the front of the service box as my toss was in the air. I have no doubt it was an effort to distract me. However. we were playing on a court right beside the main club house surrounded by several officials, teams, etc. My partner complained more than once to an official that it was a distraction, but nothing was done because all of his movements "could" have a legitimate purpose other than to distract. Therefore, it was considered to be legal. Maybe not the most sportsmanlike thing to do, but it was considered to be within the rules.

    Honestly it didn't bother me because I am usually so busy looking at the ball as I serve I rarely notice what the net person has done until the ball has been struck and I am setting up to receive the service return, but it drove my partner nuts.
     
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